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Sports

Marseille's striker Brandao under investigation for alleged rape

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-10

Marseille's Brazilian striker Brandao was placed under investigation for the alleged rape of a 23-year-old woman. He has been released on bail, said his lawyer.

AFP - Marseille's Brazilian striker Brandao has been released on bail after being placed under investigation for the alleged rape of a 23-year-old woman, his lawger confirmed on Wednesday.

Lawyer Patricia Clusan said that the alleged victim had withdrawn her accusation but that did not stop the case being pursued by prosecutors.

"He left free, I said yesterday (Tuesday) that in this case prudence was needed," said Clusan, adding: "And after having consulted the dossier and heard Mr Brandao's explanations I think that logic prevailed."

Brandao was driven away from court in a luxury 4x4 driven by Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo.

"We're happy that he left free, we'll see what the investigation into this affair reveals, I can assure you that Mr Brandao has for the moment not had the benefit of the presumption of innocence, that's the least that we can say, I think that the investigation will show that he was (innocent)," his lawyer said.

The 30-year-old player appeared before a court in the southern French city on Wednesday afternoon, a day after being arrested at his home and taken in for questioning as part of the police investigation.

The woman on Friday accused Brandao of raping her at a motorway stopover as he drove her home from a night club in Aix-en-Provence last week.

She said that she had not come forward straight away to press the charges as she felt that her version of what happened would not be believed.

Brandao has denied assaulting the woman who was not present in court, police said.

"My client is completely serene, he denies what he is being accused of," Clusan said, adding that he was a man who was "tired, slept little, who is asking himself why this is happening to him, but serene."

Police visited the footballer's club on Wednesday morning to question his teammates who could have also met the young woman.

Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier said in a statement late Wednesday that while awaiting the final conclusions of the affair he and other staff members would meet Brandao to decide "under what conditions" the player could rejoin the squad.

"Everyone knows that a judicial investigation does not mean guilt," he added.

Brandao has been at Marseille since he moved from Ukraine side Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2009, playing his part in the club's French league title win last season.
 

Date created : 2011-03-10

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